December 2005 Issue

Features

Feature

I of the Storm

The Gulf carried mendacity in every molecule. Its beauty, its tranquillity, was all a lie. It had created Galveston, carved out its deepwater port, tempted us with the promise of greatness, and then betrayed us.

Feature

The Lost City

A few of the streets near what used to be downtown have familiar names, but Arlington has mutated into a disconnected clump of shopping malls, cul-de-sacs, and gated communities, faceless, soulless neighborhoods that give urban sprawl a bad name.

Feature

Christmas in Brownsville

My father, who had grown up on a farm, used to talk about his family’s killing a pig for the tamales, but this was back in the twenties.

Feature

Flatlander

People have an attitude about the Panhandle, as if living there is a hardship. To this day, they offer condolences when they learn where I’m from.

Feature

Army Brat

More than anything, we hated the moves, the long drives in a hot car with squabbling siblings, then getting to the new post and having to be the new kid all over again.

Feature

Me of Little Faith

All I know for certain about religion is that the one my mother tried so hard to pass on to me just didn’t take.

Web

Web Exclusive

Basic Training

Senior editor Michael Hall on being a military child, growing up on a base, and starting over.

Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

The pock-marked Dinosaur Valley State Park reveals an amazingly well-preserved (and somewhat checkered) prehistoric past.

Web Exclusive

An Excerpt from “Little Town Lies”

Chapter 1 Sally Hopkins gave up trying to find an NPR station. They didn’t make that kind of radio out here, not on the long road back home … and maybe that was just as well. She stopped twisting the dial when she heard the faint sound of country music

Web Exclusive

Good Times

Editor Evan Smith on Willie Nelson and what we could all learn from him.

Texas History 101

Texas History 101

In the late 1800’s a group of women from Bell County left their husbands to set up a communal house in Belton.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails

Fairfield is much more than a near-midpoint pit stop between Dallas and Houston.

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

The Dallas Junior Leaguers are at it again. Not only do these women volunteer some 120,000 hours at nonprofit agencies in Dallas and throughout the Metroplex, but they’re also warmly hospitable and talented in the kitchen as evidenced by their beautiful new cookbook Dallas Dish. As you might expect from

Web Exclusive

All the Pretty Horses

Catherine Crier, the host of Court TV’s Catherine Crier Live, on growing up in Dallas, riding and showing horses, and moving away from Texas.

Web Exclusive

The Real World

Associate editor John Spong on going to Westlake, being popular, and life after high school.

Reporter

Music Review

Lost Horizon

Musicians have been exploring the majesty of the electric-guitar sound almost since the instrument’s invention, but it’s only recently that a spate of instrumental rock bands has sprung forth in dedication to it. Friends of Dean Martinez (the “ez” was added at the behest of the Dean Martin estate) was

Music Review

Live in Austin, TX DVD/CD

The long-running PBS show Austin City Limits has begun to loosen its grip on decades of peerless archives with a series of original broadcasts on DVD and companion CDs. Notable in the latest batch is Live From Austin TX (New West), a 1990 session with the short-lived supergrouping of Freddy

Music Review

The Funk Anthology

It’s hard to pinpoint why time has not built the reputation of Houston’s Johnny “Guitar” Watson. It’s not that Watson wasn’t influential—artists from Jimi Hendrix to Etta James gave him his due—and it wasn’t for a lack of hits. His seventies funk period, now collected in The Funk Anthology (Shout

Book Review

Havoc

Austinite R.J. Pineiro hits plenty of high notes in his near-future techno-thriller, Havoc (Forge). The year is 2009, and a spiffy military-strength robot orb stolen from the U.S. Nanosolutions compound in Central Texas is loose in Europe. It has switched into survival mode, replicating itself and resolving to wipe out

Book Review

Ringside Seat to a Revolution

Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez, 1893–1923 (Cinco Puntos) is a horseless carriage ride back to the dawn of the twentieth century, when revolution seemed to be carried around the world on the wind. And as portrayed by David Dorado Romo in

Book Review

Against Gravity

An immigrant’s tale—the specter of a life abandoned, the perilous promise of a better future—can make for compelling drama. Author Farnoosh Moshiri’s forced flight from revolutionary Iran in 1983 (she would end up in Houston for a time) provides an intriguing back story for her searingly beautiful novel Against Gravity

Willie Nelson

“I always thought that if I was having fun doing what I was doing and making a living doing it, then I was already successful.”

Reporter

Y’all Come Back

Homecoming in the town of Spur means football, the crowning of a queen, parades, pep rallies, barbecue, a bonfire, and so much more.

Columns

Where I'm From

This Month’s Contributors

Roberto Parada, who illustrated the seven Where I’m From profiles, was born in North Arlington, New Jersey. Executive editor Mimi Swartz (“Midnight in the Garden of Memory,” was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Senior executive editor Paul Burka (“I of the Storm,” was born in Galveston. Writer-at-large Oscar

Where I'm From

Richard Linklater

The prison affected me personally. I grew up parking cars at the prison rodeo. I had a stepfather who was a prison guard.

Where I'm From

Tish Hinojosa

It wasn’t until I moved away that I saw that a lot of art, a lot of what Texas is about, didn’t come only from San Antonio.

Where I'm From

Ethan Hawke

Larry McMurtry writes about how if you’re forced to leave Texas before you’re ready, before the state lets you go, you always dream of it.

Where I'm From

Kirbyjon Caldwell

One evening Ike and Tina came over for dinner to my mom and dad’s house. Tina kissed me on the forehead before I went to bed.

Where I'm From

Bob Schieffer

Whenever I go to Fort Worth, I try to take a look at the little house where we lived. It’s amazing to think about what we went through.

Where I'm From

Lynn Wyatt

I had no clue about the amount of magic Texas held. Texas had a persona all its own, and I was proud to be a little smidgen part of it.

Miscellany

Around the State

Around the State

December—People, Places, Events, Attractions 12-2005 It’s list-checking time again up at the North Pole, so if you’ve been more naughty than nice this year, some friendly advice: Head straight to Columbus. You can plead your case directly—and ad nauseam—at the Mary Elizabeth Hopkins Santa Claus Museum, where more than two

Roar of the Crowd

Rah Deal

Great article about the cheerleading debate [“Flipping Out,” October 2005]. All I can say is this: It’s funny that the legislators mention “more of our young girls getting pregnant in middle and high school, dropping out of school, having babies,” when it’s the young ladies on the cheerleading squads

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